Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

Greening Minnesota ~ May 2010

As lovers of the outdoors, Minnesotans try hard to be good caretakers of the environment. Read on to learn about environmentally friendly news that happened recently around the Twin Cities and Minnesota!

The Department of Commerce's Office of Energy Security has reported that more solar energy systems were installed in Minnesota in 2009 than in any other year. 72 solar photovoltaic systems were installed in 2009 with a combined capacity of 784 kilowatts, which is also a record for Minnesota. The previous record was from 2007, when 56 systems were installed, providing 286 kilowatts. Overall, just over two megawatts of electricity are produced in Minnesota by solar panels, which is less than 1% of the state's total energy capacity. Officials expect that number to double by the end of 2010.

A new area will be permanantly preserverd as a green space. For a price tag of $1.96 million, a parcel of land along the Mississippi River will become Washington County's latest park acquisition. Commissioners voted earlier this month to buy the forested property, which has 2,000 feet of shoreline along the Mississippi River. The county's parks director, John Elholm, said the sale should be completed in about a month.

Minneapolis park officials have approved the purchase of a significant piece of upper Mississippi riverfront parkland. The City will spend $7.7 million to buy a little more than 11 acres from Scherer Bros. The purchase not only preserves the land as a green space, it will bridge a key greenbelt gap and eventually will allow trails to be developed farther upriver in northeast Minneapolis. Park commissioners voted unanimously, saying that people living along the upper river deserve waterfront parks just like those in south Minneapolis.

The St. Paul City Council has approved a bike lane project to connect W. 7th Street to Mississippi River Boulevard. Council members voted 6-1 in favor of adding striping, signs, sidewalks, traffic-calming...

ASID Showcase Home Tour

The American Society of Interior Designers of Minnesota is holding their Showcase Home Tour right now through June.

Each year, Twin Cities interior designers from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) takes over a home and gives it a design makeover. This year, there are two homes on the tour instead. And visitors can see both of them for the price of one!

26 designers re-designed two homes:

Adventurer, explorer, and author of "The Blue Zones," Dan Beuttner’s Lake of the Isles Home was redesigned to incorporate his "blue zone" theories about longevity, as well as his extensive collection of art and mementoes.

The second home on the tour, located about a mile away, is a condo at The Edgewater near Lake Calhoun. At this location designers had an empty shell of a dwelling with which to work, creating a home for a hypothetical tenant who appreciates clean-lined, sophisticated spaces. View the Barker & Hedges listing for the home.

Public tours began last week and continue through June 13 on Wednesdays through Sundays. Tickets are available for $20 at the door, online or at various outlets. Read more information on the ASID Showcase Home Tour.


Minnesota's 10 Most Endangered Historic Places

St. Paul-based nonprofit Preservation Alliance of Minnesota will soon formally announced the buildings and sites on this year’s “10 Most Endangered Historic Places” list. Although the official announcement of the list isn’t until later this week, this year’s list surfaced early in the June issue of Minnesota Monthly.

Three of the listed sites are in the Twin Cities area: The Samuel J. Hewson House and the Wesley United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, and the Dairy Queen located at 1720 Lexington Avenue N. in Roseville.

The rest of the buildings and sites on Minnesota's “10 Most Endangered Historic Places” for 2010:
• Great Northern Railway Depot, Princeton
• Dodd Ford Bridge, Amboy
• Jackson County Resource Center, Jackson
• Southeast St. Cloud Neighborhood, St. Cloud
• Todd County Courthouse, Long Prairie
• Garrison Concourse, Garrison
• Bessesen Building, Albert Lea...

Converted Historic City Hall for Sale in Norwood Young America


An historic building that once served as Young America's city hall is for sale on the market, listed at $449,900. This 1909 two-story brick building has been converted to a single-family home that could also easily accommodate a home-based business.

Located at 102 2nd Avenue SE in Norwood Young America, this striking home is on an easy access corner lot. The first floor is 2,000-square-feet including a garage, a bathroom, and open space which could serve as a living room or would also be suitable for a business.

The upstairs has over 3,000-square-feet of living quarters which includes 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large kitchen, a living room, dining room, and a 3 season porch. Additionally, there is a partial loft which houses a recreation room, a recording studio, and a library with a gas fireplace.

This century-old structure also has a ticket window, an old jail cell, an in-ground swimming pool, and a bell tower - minus the bell. Some of the hardwood floors in this home used to be part of a basketball court. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Check out our listing for this home, which also includes photos of this home's beautiful unterior. A Star Tribune article has also recently been written about this interesting and unique home....

Minneapolis Among Top 10 Greenest has chosen the Minneapolis as one of the Top 10 Greenest Cities in the United States. The places, listed in no particular order, were chosen because thought the cities were doing a great job at putting residents first. These cities are obsessed with clean air and clean water, renewable energy, reliable city transportation, growing parks and green spaces, farmer’s markets and, most importantly, opportunities for community involvement.

What did they have to say about Minneapolis?

Named one of the top business districts in the nation for by the Environmental Protection Agency, Minneapolis is a commuter’s paradise where more than 60 percent of downtown workers use public or alternative transportation to get to the office. Free parking for registered van and car pools, an extensive bike path and bike lane system and employer-sponsored showers and locker rooms not only add endorphins but make a significant dent into auto-based air pollution. On the way to work, commuters thread their way among scores of lakes and parks and ponds and greenbelts and more than 200,000 trees. With great drinking water, active community organizations and the Minnesota State Department of Commerce nudging businesses and residents to hook solar systems up to the city's grid, it doesn’t take Mary Tyler Moore tossing her beret into the air to let you know this is a great place to live.

Of course, this shouldn't dishearten St. Paul residents. Many of the same programs available in Minneapolis are also available in Saint Paul. This is just one more aspect of the Twin Cities that makes life here so great.